Goverment House

Investing in the future of WA’s parks


WA Parks Foundation Launch

19 October 2016


On 19 October 2016, Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC, Governor of Western Australia, launched the WA Parks Foundation in Government House Ballroom.

Formalities for the launch event included a Welcome to Country from Dr Richard Walley OAM and presentations from Her Excellency, Mr Jim Sharp, Director General, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Mr Griffin Longley, Chief Executive Officer, Nature Play WA, Professor Stephen Hopper AC, Winthrop Biodiversity Professor, University of Western Australia and Ms Victoria Laurie, award winning journalist.

Guests were entertained by a green screen photo booth, a virtual reality experience and interacting with animals courtesy of Kanyana Wildlife.







Professor Ross Dowling OAM has provided Background Information on US Equivalent Organisations, in relation to the establishment of a Western Australian Parks Foundation.

An initiative to encourage support for the State’s national parks and reserves has been launched by the Governor of Western Australia, Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC.

About 100 invited guests from the community, corporate sector and peak organisations joined Her Excellency the Governor at Government House for a presentation evening outlining her desire for wider community engagement with our parks. Other speakers told the audience about their enthusiasm for Western Australia’s unique biodiversity and natural environment.

Her Excellency said she wanted to encourage business and the community to become actively involved in ensuring the conservation of WA’s most significant natural areas as well as engaging with nature in using these parks.

“Western Australia doesn’t have its own foundation or similar body advocating for and supporting parks and their many values, yet our parks have the potential to be admired by the world for their unique qualities,” the Governor said.

 “While a lot of effort is being expended to protect the State’s world-renowned native plants and animals and make visitor experiences in our parks memorable, we need to do more to ensure that our national parks, marine parks and reserves are conserved and their uniqueness appreciated well into the future.
“By connecting more people to the environment, Western Australia’s magnificent parks will continue to be valued, visited and enjoyed.
“There are more than 100 national and marine parks in our vast State and it is up to all of us to ensure these precious areas continue as part of our heritage and contribute to our quality of life.
“Having the community and business become key partners as well as advocates, means it is a challenge I feel confident we can meet.”
The Governor has proposed the establishment of an independent Western Australian parks foundation or “friends of” association.
“This would be an ideal means of encouraging the community and business to engage with and get involved in our parks in practical and supportive ways,” she said.
“I am excited about this important initiative and hope to see as many people as possible coming on-board.”
A video encouraging everyone to play a part in conserving and engaging with WA’s wildlife and parks can be viewed at